In the Media

November 6, 2015

Daily Orange, Syracuse University: Bravos: Howie Hawkins

Persistence appears to be key for Howie Hawkins, a member of New York state’s Green Party. Hawkins has run for elected office more than 20 times and has lost every race, including the race for Syracuse city auditor this past week. Other positions he has run for include governor of New York, mayor of Syracuse and Syracuse Common Council. Hawkins has left-wing roots in anti-Vietnam war protests and the Peace and Freedom Party. Even though he has lost many times, Hawkins said his primary goal when running for office is to raise issues, not necessarily to win.


Benjamin Wilson | Staff Photographer 

Green Party member Howie Hawkins speaks to supporters on Election Night.


November 4, 2015

Syracuse Post-Standard: Syracuse auditor: Marty Masterpole beats Howie Hawkins

City Auditor Marty Masterpole, a Democrat, won a second four-year term by beating Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, 65 percent to 35 percent.

Hawkins, 62, based his campaign mainly on allegations that Masterpole, 42, had not been an aggressive auditor. Masterpole defended his record, saying many of his accomplishments stem from working informally and cooperatively with city hall officials.


November 3, 2015

Time Warner Cable News: Election Day 2015: Big Races Across Central NY

And in the city of Syracuse we're following the race for city auditor, as incumbent Marty Masterpole is getting a challenge from Green party candidate Howie Hawkins.


November 2, 2015

Daily Orange, Syracuse University: Howie Hawkins runs for city auditor to promote left-wing Green Party policies

While Hawkins is not an accountant and has never completed an audit, something he admits, Hawkins said he sees the auditor’s office as a “public interest research group for the people of the city.” He wants to use the auditor’s office to advance the issues that both parties are ignoring, he said.

Specifically, Hawkins plans to complete environmental and social policy audits, according to his campaign.

“We don’t need a lapdog who is part of the Democratic machine,” he said. “We need a watchdog who is independent.”

NCC News, Syracuse University: Green Party Confident as General Election Approaches

With the Onondaga County General Election only a week away, the Central New York Green Party is hopeful.

“I was not convinced it was a winnable race,” Green Party candidate Lance Denno said. “However, after talking to the Green Party supporters and looking at some statistical history, I realized that given the unique circumstance of this year’s election, this could, in fact be a winnable race for a Green Party candidate….

Longtime Green Party activist Howie Hawkins has noticed this possibility, too. He has ran in over 20 local and state elections with the Greens without winning office. However, in the past five years, support for Hawkins has been at an all-time high. Last year, Hawkins won almost five percent of the vote in the gubernatorial race. Additionally, Hawkins ran in 2011 to represent Syracuse’s 4th District against Democratic incumbent Khalid Bey and nearly won, clinching 48% of the vote.

Hawkins, currently running for city auditor, says voters are responding to his and the Green Party’s message.


November 1, 2015

WRVO, NPR, Central New York: Marty Masterpole and Howie Hawkins on the Campbell Conversations

Offices like city auditor are essential for good governance, yet they tend to received very little attention.  In their only joint media appearance, host Grant Reeher questions the two candidates for Syracuse City Auditor, Democrat incumbent Marty Masterpole and Green Party challenger Howie Hawkins.  They debate whether the office has engaged in enough audits, audits of appropriate significance, the quality of the office staff, and the role that the office plays in trying to address the challenges facing the city.


October 30, 2015

WCNY TV, PBS Central New York: Insight

In wake of a national report on urban poverty and segregation in the U.S. reaching all times highs, Insight's Jim Aroune sits down with politic activist and Green Party member Howie Hawkins to discuss poverty and politics.


October 28, 2015

Time Warner Cable NewsGreen Party City Auditor Candidate Discusses Priorities

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for city auditor, is discussing the audits he'd do if he wins the election. Hawkins says that finding out the reasons for delays in city financial reports is atop of his list of priorities. He says that impacts budget management.

Hawkins also says he wants to address the big problems the city faces, like high poverty, struggling schools and failing infrastructure.

"I want to be the watchdog, not the lapdog," Hawkins said. "Independent of all the elected Democrats, I'm a Green, and I think that gives me the freedom to really go to work for the city."


October 22, 2015

WAER, NPR, Syracuse University: Syracuse City Auditor Defends his Office Against Criticism from Opponent

Syracuse City Auditor Marty Masterpole wants to set the record straight on a number of allegations made by his green party opponent in recent weeks.  Masterpole is rebutting many of Howie Hawkins' claims, including that he’s not doing enough audits compared to his predecessor.

Daily Orange, Syracuse University: "Green Party must distinguish itself in local elections" by Keely Sullivan

This election is not only big for the county and Syracuse city government, but it could be a turning point for another political party. Here’s a hint: it’s not the Republicans. The city of Syracuse is primarily Democratic, and its liberal affiliation is not bound to change anytime soon. In the near absence of the Republican Party, the Green Party could be a viable challenger to the Democrats.

Earlier this week, city auditor candidate and Green Party member Howie Hawkins was officially endorsed by three former Democratic city officials, including a former deputy city auditor. Hawkins is one of five Green Party candidates running in the November election, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections candidates list, which was posted on October 16.

But despite the Green Party’s stronger presence in Syracuse politics than on a national scale, it still has one major hurdle to climb: why should voters trust the party, anyway? Its largest challenge will be convincing the people of Syracuse to change their party loyalty.


October 20, 2015

WAER, NPR, Syracuse University: Hawkins Endorsed by Three Democrats in Race for City Auditor; Promises High-Impact, Priority Audits

Hawkins held his press conference in Clinton Square to illustrate quality differences in audits by current auditor Masterpole and his predecessor Phil Latessa….

Hawkins says as important as the decline in audits is the priority of the reports.

"Nobody's leaving the city because of the ice rink, because the money from the beverages is missing or something. People are moving because the schools are struggling, crime is high, and infrastructure is failing. Those are the kinds of things the auditor ought to be looking in to."

Which Hawkins says also includes environmental audits.

"The city has environmental goals such as reducing carbon pollution. I would like to set up a system of indicators of public welfare and environmental sustainability that we could track over time to see how we're moving toward reaching our goals o reducing carbon, or reducing unemployment, or reducing poverty. We might bring some new wrinkles, but I think for most voters, this is a question of is the office independent, are they working hard, and are they professional. We're not getting that from the current auditor."

Hawkins questions why the city school district ran a nearly $20 million surplus for fiscal year 2013-14, and put at least some of that money into the classroom or a much needed playing field at Fowler high. he also wonders why the city’s police department had a surplus of $7.5 million for the same year while residents called for more police to walk the streets. Hawkins says his concern is it doesn’t appear the city has a clear enough financial picture to know if it can meet payroll, and instead resorts to hoarding money to cover unexpected expenses.


October 19, 2015

Time Warner Cable News: Three Former City Lawmakers Back Hawkins For City Auditor

With election day a little more than two weeks away, one candidate for city auditor has come out swinging.

"I think for most voters, it's a question of, is the office independent? Are they working hard? And are they professional? We're not getting that from the current city auditor," said Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

Hawkins was endorsed by three former city lawmakers on Monday -- former deputy city auditor Laurence Botts, former common councilor Pat Hogan and former councilor-at-large Lance Denno.

"He's clearly interested in doing a good job," Botts said. "I think, overall, he represents not a change in government, but better government."

Syracuse Post-Standard: 2015 elections: Howie Hawkins for Syracuse auditor (Your letters)

Readers of the Post-Standard may be interested to know that Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Syracuse City Auditor, has a broader background to draw on for this position than "unloading trucks for United Parcel Service" and "run(ning) for office more than 20 times" as cited in the article of Oct. 13. Reporter Tim Knauss does a good job of presenting some of the issues in the auditor race, but might have chosen some different descriptors for Hawkins. His campaign literature and web site include these additional facts: he attended Dartmouth College; has published numerous articles on economic, political, and environmental issues; served in the Marines; and is currently treasurer and board member for Eat To Live Food Cooperative and for the Southside Community Coalition.

Knauss mentions Hawkins' success in garnering nearly 5 percent of the total vote in the 2014 election tally for New York state governor, a major accomplishment for a third-party candidate in New York. That success came about because Hawkins has the knowledge about issues important to people and the ability to articulate arguments for challenging "business as usual." These qualities have been paired with the determination to get the Green message across via numerous local and statewide campaigns. He brings a message of integrity and action to the electoral process.

Here is someone who seeks office not for personal power or gain, but because he sees problems that can be addressed for the benefit of the residents of Syracuse and believes that change can happen. Check out his website for his analysis of the City Auditor position and consider Howie Hawkins for Syracuse City Auditor on Nov. 3.

Chris Riley


October 14, 2015

Syracuse New Times: Green Wants to Watch City's Greenbacks

...with no Republican in the race, Hawkins and Masterpole will be slugging it out, the incumbent pointing with pride at his monitoring of take-home police vehicles and reviews of spending on asphalt for street paving, the challenger leveling charges of bid rigging, cronyism and the pitfalls of single-party rule.

CNY Vision: Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins Calls for Debate in City Auditor Race

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Syracuse city auditor, has recently called for a debate against incumbent Democrat Marty Masterpole.

Hawkins and Masterpole are the only two candidates vying for the position.

“The work of the city auditor affects all the serious problems Syracuse faces, such as high poverty, failing infrastructure, and struggling schools,” Hawkins stated. “These issues, and others, are impacted by the limited fiscal resources of the city.”


October 13, 2015

WRVO, NPR Central New York: Hawkins calls for a debate in race against Masterpole for Syracuse city auditor

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins called for a debate after he announced that he is running against incumbent Marty Masterpole for Syracuse city auditor. Hawkins said not enough audits are being done by the city. Since taking office in 2011, Masterpole has been producing about four audits every year for the city. Prior to that and going back to 2004, the average had been about 10 audits every year.

Hawkins said if he is elected, he will audit infrastructure planning and the long-term fiscal sustainability of the city.

"We got high poverty, failing infrastructure, sewage backing up into people's homes, water mains breaking, sinkholes," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said he is also concerned that more than half of Syracuse’s schools are in the receivership process, meaning if they don’t improve they could be turned into charter schools.

“So that money goes to those students, meanwhile the school districts got the legacy overhead of pension and healthcare for the staff and the overhead of the administration, the maintenance of buildings and transportation," Hawkins said. "Can the school district be fiscally solvent in those circumstances?”


October 9, 2015

Syracuse Post-Standard: Race for Syracuse city auditor heats up: Are 4 audits a year enough?

Each year since he was elected in 2011, Syracuse City Auditor Marty Masterpole has told the city council that he planned to complete 11 or 12 audits. Each year, he produced four.

The candidate who is running against Masterpole this year, Howie Hawkins, says that is not enough.

Hawkins, who plans to hold a news conference today at city hall, said his campaign message is simple: "Marty Masterpole is not doing the job expected and spelled out in the city charter and the city budget. And I will.''

Time Warner Cable News: Third Party Candidate Hope to Unseat Incumbent City Auditor

A third-party candidate is hoping to unseat the incumbent Syracuse city auditor. Howie Hawkins will run for the position on the Green Party line, challenging democratic incumbent Marty Masterpole. Hawkins spoke about his platform Friday.

He says his opponent is ignoring issues crucial to city residents. "We've got failing infrastructure, sewage backing up into people's homes, water mains breaking, sinkholes. We've got failing schools, and the audits that Masterpole has decided to do is the ice rink, the golf courses," said Hawkins.


May 20, 2015

WAER, NPR, Central New York: Green Party Candidate Hawkins Says He Would Outproduce Current City Auditor

Hawkins will be running for Syracuse City Auditor. He is not pleased with the job the current Auditor Marty Masterpole is doing.

“The city charter requires an audit of all the departments, the school district, the housing authority every year. It has not been done. The budget expects eight financial and performance audits and three special audits. Those have not been done. He has been doing four a year. The previous auditor was doing 14 a year.”

Hawkins is a teamster and works for UPS at night, but says he has experience with auditing because of campaign finance audits and from working in the private sector. If Hawkins is elected, he wants to enact a version of New York City’s “Checkbook NYC”, an online transparency tool that tracks budgets, revenue, and other city spending in real time. He also says he would consider new environmental audits for Syracuse.


May 18, 2015

Syracuse Post-Standard: Green Party's Hawkins to challenge Syracuse Auditor Masterpole

Hawkins said Masterpole has failed to do the job. "His four-person staff is not producing," he said. "This race will be a voters' audit of the city auditor."

Capital Tonight, Time Warner Cable News: Interviews with Howie Hawkins and Marty Masterpole

The segment airs from 7:30 to 9:30.





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  • Christine Niskanen
    commented 2015-11-04 16:29:38 -0500
    Sorry to see that Howie lost the Syracuse Auditor position. I know that he would have made a Great Auditor.
    Christine Niskanen